Vendor Spotlight: Muggle Born Sisters
Names: Alaura and Aubrey
Business: Muggle Born Sisters, purveyors of magica fare
Houses: Proud Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw
Wands: Alaura: 14 inches, curly maple with a unicorn hair core. Aubrey: 12 inches, oak with a phoenix feather core.
Patronuses: Alaura: golden retriever dog, Aubrey: lop-eared bunny
Let’s be honest: there’s one product category that seems to have completely taken over every fandom’s merch, and that one category is, of course, the enamel pin. We’ve all seen the endless photos of collections and arrangements. We all have our favorites and the ones we’ve had our eyes on forever. We’re lucky enough that we get to work with Muggle Born Sisters, two genius artists (and real life sisters!) who have designed more than a few products that have been included our boxes.
We most recently included the sisters’ work in our September 2019 Year 7 themed box with their Three Brothers pin, yet another in a long line of incredible designs. We asked Alaura and Aubrey if we could interview them for the blog, to learn more about their fandom faves and creative process.
Accio!: Can you tell our readers a little bit about you? Where are you from? Where is home? Educational background? Etc?
Muggle Born Sisters: We are real-life sisters from small town Ontario, Canada. Alaura has a PhD in Planetary geology and has done many years of geological fieldwork all around the world studying impact craters. Aubrey has a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology, which sparked her interest in bones, and she now has a career as a Medical Radiation Technologist. We love traveling and running half-marathons together.
Accio!: How did you find your craft? What got you into it?
Muggle Born Sisters: Aubrey is the one who got us started making pins. She had started a business called Rad Girl Creations for which she was mainly selling vinyl decals, then she decided to try out a few pins, with wonderful results. Years later, Aubrey suggested we produce some wizarding world pins to sell on her website to earn a bit of spending money for our very first trip to Universal Studios. The first pin we made was Hopping Chocolate and it is one of our best sellers to this day! Encouraged by this success, we made more designs eventually moving over to our own magical pin website; mugglebornsisters.com.
Accio!: How long have you been an artist (professional or otherwise?)
Muggle Born Sisters: Alaura has always enjoyed art, enjoying drawing, charcoal and watercolour and a brief stint as a professional photographer. Aubrey has really found her medium in pin designing and creates amazing and clever designs for Muggle Born Sisters and Rad Girl Creations! Pin designing was the first time either of us tried our hand at any form of digital graphic design, and we are learning more and more every day!
Accio!: Can you give us a brief walkthrough of your process in making your product? What goes into it?
Muggle Born Sisters: Well the first thing is coming up with the idea. Sometime easy, sometimes not. Sometimes we have pages of ideas just waiting for us to get to them and sometimes we have nothing! In our experience, you really can’t force an idea to take shape. So, we wait for inspiration and then run with in! We usually bounce ideas off each other until one sticks. We usually do a rough sketch on paper and then digitize it on our iPads. Perfecting a design can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a month! Once we are happy with the main artwork, we set to work picking the exact colors we want in the designs. Sometimes the exact shades and colors are easy to choose, sometimes they’re a little bit more finicky to get them exactly how we want. Then comes the proof artwork, choosing the metal types, enamel style, and size of the final product. Each of our pins comes with the Muggle Born Sisters backstamp for an extra magical touch!
Accio!: Are you a Harry Potter fan? What are some of your favorite things in the series?
Muggle Born Sisters: We are huge Harry Potter fans! Though we came a touch late to the party. Neither of us read the Harry Potter series until we were adults. And now we can’t get enough of it! Our favorite thing in the series is the wizarding world that J.K. Rowling created more than any specific characters. She created such an incredibly detailed and amazing world, it isn’t hard to imagine ourselves as part of that it!
We reflect our love of the entire wizarding world by basing our pins off the world, rather than relating them to specific characters. This is also why we started making our coins, because we love to make things a real witch or wizard would have in their pocket! Aside from the books themselves, we love Harry Potter because we have such a great time together running this business together!
Accio!: Is there anything else you’d like our subscribers to know about you or your art?
Muggle Born Sisters: Our business wouldn’t be here if it were not for this awesome, fun-loving, and supportive wizarding community. We are so very grateful to everyone who has come along on this crazy magical journey with us! We wouldn’t get to do this if it wasn’t for all of our customers over the years and our Instagram followers, who take the time to like and comment on our posts and spread the word about our shop. We are honored that people are willing to spend their hard-earned money on the things we create, and are so thankful that this community has allowed us to make these little pieces of magic for all of them!